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Walter Isaacson writes foreword for memoir
by Eric Motley

“Madison Park” Shares Motley’s Journey from Rural Alabama to the White House and Beyond 

Grand Rapids, Mich., June 13, 2017 — Walter Isaacson wrote the foreword for Madison Park: A Place of Hope by Eric Motley (Zondervan, November 14, 2017, 9780310349631). Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute and recruited Motley to the think tank ten years ago, where he currently serves as Executive Vice President.

Isaacson writes in the foreword, “When I first met Eric Motley, I knew there must be a wonderful backstory. He was the youngest appointee in the George W. Bush White House, but he had the demeanor of a courtly collector of antiquarian books, which he happened to be…. The more I got to know Eric over the years, the more it reinforced my initial impression. What a story he must have, I thought. He does, and this inspiring and exquisitely written book tells it.”

He concludes the foreword, “Above all, this book is about gratitude. Eric has an uncanny ability to remember everything, in part because he possesses an enormous sense of gratitude. At times, he recounts, his memory of all those who helped him has been so intense it felt like a burden. ‘Blessings come at us so relentlessly, we are forever in a deficit position,’ he writes. ‘We never get all of the thank-yous or goodbyes properly said, which leaves us, each one, living with a burden of gratitude.’ For all of us who have the joy of knowing Eric, there is a counterpart to that sentiment. In his life, and now in this book, he teaches us about the grace that is bestowed by gratitude.”

Madison Park has received endorsements from Mrs. Laura Bush, who called it a “beautifully written book,” and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. who said Motley’s journey “serves as a powerful reminder of the shaping influences that family, faith, and community have in African American lives…” Elaine Pagels also endorsed the memoir saying “in writing as clear as water, Madison Park tells a moving story of hope.”

Motley grew up in Madison Park, a rural Alabama town founded by freed slaves. He rose from those humble beginnings thanks to the care of his adoptive grandparents and the whole neighborhood. The remarkable people of his hometown instilled in him values of hope, self-determination, and generosity of spirit and means, anchored on twin pillars of education and faith. He tells the story of this proud black community in his new memoir, Madison Park: A Place of Hope.

Madison Park releases November 14, 2017, and Motley is available for interviews and live appearances in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville and Montgomery, Ala.

Zondervan is a world leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications.  Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, Mich.  For additional information, please visit

Media Contact:  Robin Barnett  (616) 698-3251